Grand Prix motorcycle racing (officially, the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix) comes back to the Circuit de Catalunya in the form of the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya de MotoGP.
The Circuit de Catalunya is a fast and technical track. Its variety and complexity, together with its comparative bumpiness (mainly due to a steady presence of F1 cars) make this a very demanding track for drivers and motorbikes alike. The 2.94 mile long circuit includes elevation changes, difficult downhill turns, long sweeping corners and a very long straight, one of the longest of the motoGP calendar (which allows for speeds in excess of 200 mph during the race). The more well known braking and overtaking areas are the first corner and “la Caixa Corner”, at the beginning of the so called Stadium Section of the circuit. “La Caixa” corner is probably the last feasible passing spot (Valentino Rossi might disagree here) before coming back to the main straight and many races are decided here. All in all, it is a very fast circuit with fans packing the grandstands and giving it a warm atmosphere.
From the spectator point of view, it is a very good circuit. It is located near the city of Barcelona (a major tourist destination worldwide), has good viewing facilities and, as expected, weather is usually good (sunblock and hats are a must), rain being a rare nuisance. Furthermore, this circuit has historically delivered some great races. The 125cc usually featured exciting regularly, but the races of 2003, with Pedrosa snatching victory from Luthi, and of 2007, with Tomoyoshi Koyama as a victor, are especially memorable. In the 250cc category, the quarrel between Bautista and the late Marco Simoncelli of 2008 is distinctly remembered. But it is probably the 500cc/MotoGp category the one that captures people’s imagination. Here, local fans remember fondly Crivillé’s comeback against Okada in 1999, but also Capirossi’s victory with Ducati in 2003 (Ducati’s first in MotoGP) or the duels of Stoner vs Rossi of 2007 (Stoner taking the victory) and of Rossi vs Lorenzo of 2009 (Rossi finally winning the race in a breathtaking overtake in the very last corner of the circuit).
But the past is the past. What will happen this year? Will Moto3 be as a spectacular category as 125cc was? Will Maverick Viñales win the category? What will happen in Moto2? Will Marc Márquez rule with an iron fist or will Espargaró, Luthi and the rest put up a fight until the end? And what about MotoGP? Will Yamaha and Lorenzo reign supreme again? Will Pedrosa’s time finally come to win the championship? What about Stoner? And Rossi, the 9 times winner at the Circuit de Catalunya, will he be able to tame his Ducati? It will all be settled during one of the most spectacular championships ever.
You can’t miss it! Come to the Circuit de Catalunya! Come to the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya de MotoGP with EventGo!
The following image shows a plan of the Circuit de Catalunya, with the situation of all the viewing areas.
Sources: All images used with permission of Circuit de Catalunya. Photographies with copyright by Miquel Rovira with the exception of the photograp of Pedrosa (Willton on flickr) and the photograph of the corner leading to the main straight (owned by EventGo).